Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad is still mum on the salary that he and his fellow members collect monthly from the world governing body, even as coaches and players remain unpaid.
Hadad admitted in a recent SportsMax interview that he and his colleagues are paid by Fifa but did not reveal his remuneration package. However, media reports in Pakistan and Ghana suggest that the going rate for the job is US$6,500 (TT$44,000) per month for the normalisation committee chairman and US$4,000 (TT$27,000) for members.
Fifa appointed Hadad, vice-chair Judy Daniel and Nigel Romano on 27 April. At the aforementioned figure, Hadad, the co-CEO of family-owned business HadCo Limited, would have received US$32,500 (TT$220,501) from Zurich by now, while Daniel and Romano may have pocketed US$20,000 (TT$135,700) each.
It is unclear whether that money, which amounts to just over TT$492,000 so far, is deducted from Fifa’s annual remittance to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)—as suggested in the Ghanian press. Hadad did not respond to Wired868’s questions on the subject.
Fifa’s mandate to its normalisation committee in Trinidad and Tobago included:
- to run the TTFA’s daily affairs;
- to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA;
- to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress;
- to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.
In theory, the normalisation committee can remain in place until March 2022 and, ironically, they are replacing unpaid board members. The TTFA president is the only elected member who is compensated by Fifa, although it is estimated to be just US$2,000 (TT$13,600) per month.
The technical staff members of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) have not been nearly as fortunate as the normalisation committee members.
Today, besieged TTFA president William Wallace accused the normalisation committee of trying to exploit its football coaches for political mileage, in a bid to increase pressure on the elected officials. And, in an emailed statement, he begged the coaches steering committee for their ‘indulgence over the next two weeks’, while they await remuneration.
The coaches steering committee comprises of Wayne Sheppard, Clayton Morris, Richard Hood, Angus Eve and Jefferson George.
On Monday, the coaches steering committee wrote to Wallace—on behalf of the technical staff members of the national teams—to relay word from the normalisation committee that Fifa is unwilling to pay them ‘because of the reinstated court action by the United TTFA [slate]’.
At present, Wallace and vice-presidents Clynt Taylor and Sam Phillip are contesting the Bureau of the Fifa Council’s decision to replace them with a normalisation committee on 13 April. The elected officers expect a verdict from High Court Judge Carol Gobin on 9 October.
If the High Court rules that Wallace remains the rightful head of local football, the president promised to call an extraordinary general meeting within 10 days to take counsel from member delegates on his next move—although Fifa president Gianni Infantino, via secretary general Fatma Samoura, has said repeatedly there would be no reconciliation with the estranged administrator.
Wallace said he ‘empathises’ with the coaches but noted that Fifa said it will only release funding to its normalisation committee. He insisted that the United TTFA slate has ‘done nothing to impede the NC (normalisation committee) in those functions that contributed to the welfare of staff’.
“It is passing strange that the NC got money to pay office staff, promised coaches payment, all this while our matter is before the court,” stated the TTFA president, “and suddenly, with no change in the status quo, is now using the court matter as an excuse to justify reneging on the commitment made to coaches.”
In fact, the normalisation committee has paid technical staff members too; but only selectively.
On 27 April, Hadad promised Soca Warriors coaches to initiate steps towards their remuneration in a virtual meeting. However, in July, the coaches discovered—through the media—that the normalisation committee secretly put through payments to technical director Dion La Foucade and director of football Richard Piper, along with office staff, without getting back to them.
After public protests by technical staff members in August, the normalisation committee granted meetings to the various head coaches to discuss their grievance.
On 10 September, the coaches steering committee informed the public that there had been a breakthrough.
“[…] The commitment was given by the normalisation committee to return to our group with a final proposal for settlement in a couple days,” stated the coaches. “[…] We believe there is good reason to be optimistic of this process being completed within the time frame suggested by the normalisation committee.
“This optimism is borne out of the productive and transparent nature of the meetings between both parties thus far.”
Three weeks later, though, there has been no change to the situation.
In the interim, on 24 September, the Bureau of the Fifa Council suspended the TTFA from international football—a move that saw the local body lose all its membership rights while Fifa warned members ‘not to enter into any sporting contact with the TTFA’.
Within hours of the suspension, Concacaf president Victor Montagliani, who serves on the Bureau alongside Infantino, informed the TTFA that they would remain in the 2021 Gold Cup draw, on the understanding that the twin island republic bends to the world governing body by 18 December.
Fifa has not disbanded its normalisation committee in Trinidad and Tobago either.
Wallace suggested that Fifa and its normalisation committee are playing games, and using the coaches as pawns.
“We are fully cognisant that the reason for this recent position by the NC is to continue their public pressure on us to withdraw the matter from the court,” stated Wallace. “This new strategy is to add the voice of the coaches to those voices out there that are singing for their supper, which amounts to the crumbs that fall from the table of ‘massa’.
“We are asking the coaches to allow us the opportunity to right a wrong and to put football back into the hands of the membership where it belongs. We beg your indulgence over the next two weeks and whatever the outcome, what is due to you will be honoured.”
Wallace did not state how he intends to ‘honour’ the coaches’ contracts, since the TTFA is functionally bankrupt and Fifa made it clear that not a cent of its allocation money would be put within his reach.
However, the TTFA president is expected to either resign or face a move for his ouster, after the High Court ruling in two weeks’ time.
(Coaches Steering Committee letter on 28 September)
Good day sir,
The Trinidad and Tobago technical staff members have been locked in negotiations with the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee for the better part of the last month. At present, we believe that we have an understanding and agreement (between both parties) of the payment amounts due to us and mechanism by which we will be paid.
In previous newspaper articles and interviews, you and other members of the United TTFA have indicated that you were not opposed to the office staff and coaches being paid by Fifa or Concacaf and would not interfere or act in any manner to negatively affect the payment of staff.
On Saturday 26th September, however, we were informed by the Normalisation Committee that FIFA is unwilling to make these payments because of the reinstated court action by the United TTFA.
We, the national staff members, would appreciate hearing from you how you can assist us with regard to our remuneration in the existing circumstances.
(TTFA president William Wallace response on 30 September)
Dear Members of the Coaches Steering Committee,
On behalf of the executive FIFA has deposed within FIFA, and by extension members of the UTTFA, we fully understand your plight and more than that empathise with you, during a most difficult time in our football history.
We have always indicated that we will do what has to be done to make sure that all staff both administrative and technical be paid for their services. That was demonstrated back in February when FIFA refused to release funding to us, resulting in us borrowing money to ensure that the office staff was paid.
FIFA has clearly stated that the Normalisation Committee (NC) is in charge of football and while our challenge to FIFA’s position is in the hands of the court, we have done nothing to impede the NC in those functions that contributed to the welfare of staff.
It is passing strange that the NC got money to pay office staff, promised coaches payment, all this while our matter is before the court and suddenly with no change in the status quo, is now using the court matter as an excuse to justify reneging on the commitment made to coaches.
We are fully cognisant that the reason for this recent position by the NC is to continue their public pressure on us to withdraw the matter from the court. This new strategy is to add the voice of the coaches to those voices out there that are singing for their supper, which amounts to the crumbs that fall from the table of ‘massa’.
We are asking the coaches to allow us the opportunity to right a wrong and to put football back into the hands of the membership where it belongs. We beg your indulgence over the next two weeks and whatever the outcome, what is due to you will be honoured.
TTFA President (Elect)